Astronomical Observing at Fishcreek Observing Site
Friday - 10/9/2009  7:50pm

Click HERE for event status.  STATUS LAST UPDATED: 10/9/09 at 2:15pm - EVENT HAS BEEN Cancelled

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Tonight, we have a 65% illuminated (waning gibbous) Moon rising at 10:30pm.  This phase is great for viewing detail in the craters and maria on or near the terminator - the line separating lunar night from day, a wealth of features can be seen.  Faint DSOs (Deep Space Objects) will be partially obscured due to the Moon, but Jupiter will be beautiful with three of the four Galilean moons lined up on the west side of the planet.  Take a look at the information for Jupiter, below.  We have the colorful double stars, open clusters made up of hundreds of stars, the globular clusters comprised of hundreds of thousands of stars, planetary nebula formed by dying stars, diffuse nebula and emission nebula where stars are being born.  Galaxies may not be visible this evening, except for M31 - the Andromeda Galaxy - our closest neighboring island universe.

Click HERE for a list of DeepSky Objects that will be available to us this session.

We hope to see you here for a night under the stars - now in our fifteenth year!

Quick links:
    Inner Solar System     Outer Solar System

Note: All times are shown in EDT (Eastern Daylight Time (UT-4)) as seen from Stow, Ohio

Longitude:

W 81 25' 38.4"
Latitude: N 41 11' 11.1"
Altitude:

 337m


The following Sun, Moon and planet detail was calculated as it will be
on Friday 10/9/2009 at 7:53:31p
m EDT (nautical twilight)
Source: Guide8 software available from www.projectpluto.com

Above Horizon Below Horizon Constellation Mag Rises Sets
  Sun Virgo -26.7 07:28 18:57
  Mercury Virgo -0.8 05:59 18:25
  Venus Virgo -3.9 05:29 18:09
  Mars Gemini 0.7 00:38 15:35
Jupiter   Capricornus -2.6 16:25 02:35
  Saturn Virgo 1.1 05:51 18:21
Uranus   Pisces 5.7 17:54 05:42
Neptune   Capricornus 7.9 16:40 03:11
Pluto   Sagittarius 14.2 13:15 23:14
  Moon Taurus -10.8 22:30 14:27

 

Sun data
 
Rises:

 7:28am

Transits:

 1:12pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

 6:57pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Distance:

0.9986513 AU = 149,396,108 km = 92,830,439 miles = 8.32 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-26.7

Apparent size:

32.03 arcminutes in angular diameter

Twilight ends...

Civil:

 7:22pm - Sun is   6 below the horizon

Nautical:

 7:54pm - Sun is 12 below the horizon

Astronomical:

 8:25pm - Sun is 18 below the horizon

Fall began:

at the Autumnal Equinox which occurred on Tuesday Sep 22, 2009 at 5:19pm

Winter begins:

at the Winter Solstice which will occur on Monday Dec 21, 2009 at 1:47pm

Next Solar Eclipses in Stow, Ohio:
    Partial eclipse (>80%) on Monday August 21, 2017 2:30pm EDT
    Total eclipse (an amazing sight!) on Monday April 8, 2024 2:15pm EST (3:15pm EDT)

On 10/9/2009 at 7:53:31pm the Sun will be 12 below the west horizon

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Moon data
 
Rises:

10:30pm

Transits:

  6:31am - Oct 10 (Time of highest position in the sky, due South)

Sets:

  2:27pm - Oct 10

Constellation:

Taurus

Phase:

65.23% illuminated (waning gibbous)

Distance:

0.00250384 AU = 374,569 km = 232,746 miles = 1.25 light-seconds

Magnitude:

-10.8

Apparent size:

31.89 arcminutes in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

107.60 (morning sky)

Age:

21d 5h 2m since last New Moon

Prior Phase:

Full Moon on Sunday Oct 4, 2009 at 2:10am

Next Phase:

Last Quarter on Sunday Oct 11, 2009 at 4:56am

Next Lunar eclipse:

Total eclipse (100%) on Sunday Sept 27, 2015 at 10:10pm EDT


On 10/9/2009 at 7:53:31pm the Moon will be 19.5 below the north-northeast horizon
but will look like this in our telescopes at very low power*
when it clears the trees to the east of the observing field.

*How do we change the "power" (magnification) of our telescopes?
Simple!  By changing the eyepiece to one of a longer or shorter focal length.
If the eyepiece is of shorter focal length, the "power" (magnification) is higher,
If he eyepiece is of longer focal length, the "power" (magnification) is lower.
By how much?  Here's the formula:

Magnification =F focal length of telescope objective lens (or mirror)
focal length of eyepiece being used      

Note: All graphics are correct-image representations.  A telescope will reverse this left-right and possibly invert up-down depending on type of equipment being used.

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Mercury data
 
Rises:

  5:59am

Transits:

12:12pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  6:25pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

68.48% illuminated

Distance:

1.07135983 AU = 160,273,149 km = 99,589,119 miles = 8.92 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-0.8

Apparent size:

6.28 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

17.14 (morning sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Morning:

Friday, December 18, 2009 (20 17' 43")

Evening:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010 (24 45' 10")


On 10/9/2009 at 7:53:31pm Mercury will be 17.4
below the west horizon

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Venus data
 
Rises:

  5:29am

Transits:

11:50am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  6:09pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

91.99% illuminated

Distance:

1.5226019 AU = 227,778,002 km = 141,534,690 miles = 12.68 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-3.9 (extremely bright, visible in the morning before sunrise)

Apparent size:

10.96 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

23.00 (morning sky)

Next maximum elongations...
Evening:

Friday, August 20, 2010 (45 57' 59")

Morning:

Saturday, January 8, 2011 (46 57' 24")


On 10/9/2009 at 7:53:31pm Venus will be 19.9 below the west-northwest horizon


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Mars data
 
Rises:

0:38am

Transits:

8:06am - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

3:35pm

Constellation:

Gemini

Phase:

88.40% illuminated

Distance:

1.34928154 AU = 201,849,646 km = 125,423,557 miles = 11.24 light-minutes

Magnitude:

0.7

Apparent size:

6.93 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

80.25 (morning sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Mars is closest to the Earth)

Previous:

Monday Dec 24, 2007 at 2:29pm

Next:

Friday Jan 29, 2010 at 3:21pm

Next close approach:

Friday Jan 29, 2010


On 10/9/2009 at 7:53:31pm Mars will be 27 below the north-northwest horizon

No, Mars was *not* be "as big as a Full Moon on August 27!"
Please see the following links for more information about this annual 'Mars Hoax'
    Sky & Telescope article
    Snopes.com article
    Hoax-slayer article
    Universe Today article

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Jupiter data
 
Rises:

4:25pm

Transits:

9:30pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

2:35am - Oct 10

Constellation:

Capricornus

Phase:

99.26% illuminated

Distance:

4.44556985 AU = 665,047,784 km = 413,241,540 miles = 37.03 light-minutes

Magnitude:

-2.6

Apparent size:

44.35 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

120.35 (evening sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Jupiter is closest to the Earth)

Previous:

Friday Aug 14, 2009 at 1:44pm

Next:

Tuesday Sep 21, 2010 at 7:28am


Next transit of the Great Red Spot:  Saturday Oct 10, 2009 at 3:19am (The Red Spot transits about every 10 hours 56 minutes)
GRS longitude: 136.4
Jupiter moons activity (during darkness):
        none

On 10/9/2009 at 7:53:31pm Jupiter will be 27.9 above the southeast horizon
and will look like this in our telescopes.
Notice three of the four Galilean moons lined up on west side of the planet.

Note: All graphics are correct-image representations.  A telescope will reverse this left-right and possibly invert up-down depending on type of equipment being used.

Information on Jupiter's Galilean moons:

  Io  -  mag 5.4
      Orbits in 1.8 days = 42.5 hours
      Mean orbital radius = .00281822 AU = 421,600 km = 261,970 miles = 1.41 light-seconds
      Radius: 105% of our Moon
      Mass: 122% of our Moon

  Europa  -  mag 5.5
      Orbits in 3.6 days = 85.2 hours
      Mean orbital radius = .00448469 AU = 670,900 km = 416,878 miles = 2.24 light-seconds
      Radius: 90% of our Moon
      Mass: 65% of our Moon

  Ganymede  -  mag 4.8
      Orbits in 7.2 days = 171.7 hours
      Mean orbital radius = .00715251 AU = 1,070,000 km = 664,867 miles = 3.57 light-seconds
      Radius: 150% of our Moon
      Mass: 200% of our Moon

  Callisto  -  mag 6.1
      Orbits in 16.7 days = 400.5 hours
      Mean orbital radius = 0.01258708 AU = 1,883,000 km = 1,170,042 miles = 6.29 light-seconds
      Radius: 138% of our Moon
      Mass: 146% of our Moon

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Saturn data
 
Rises:

  5:51am

Transits:

12:06pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  6:21pm

Constellation:

Virgo

Phase:

99.97% illuminated

Distance:

10.38764457 AU = 1,553,969,509 km = 965,591,899 miles = 1.44 light-hours

Magnitude:

1.1

Apparent size:

16.00 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

19.19 (morning sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Saturn is closest to the Earth)

Previous:

Sunday Mar 8, 2009 at 3:44pm

Next:

Sunday Mar 21, 2010 at 8:28pm


On 10/9/2009 at 7:53:31pm Saturn will be 18 below the west horizon


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Uranus data
 
Rises:

  5:54pm

Transits:

11:48pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

  5:42am - Oct 10

Constellation:

Pisces

Phase:

99.99% illuminated

Distance:

19.17526096 AU = 2,868,578,210 km = 1,782,451,885 miles = 2.66 light-hours

Magnitude:

5.7

Apparent size:

3.68 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

156.92 (evening sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Uranus is closest to the Earth)

Previous:

Thursday Sep 17, 2009 at 5:34am

Next:

Tuesday Sep 21, 2010 at 12:51pm


On 10/9/2009 at 7:53:31pm Uranus will be 20.6 above the east-southeast horizon

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Neptune data
 
Rises:

 4:40pm

Transits:

 9:55pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

 3:11am - Oct 10

Constellation:

Capricornus

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

29.41456964 AU = 4,400,356,985 km = 2,734,255,100 miles = 4.08 light-hours

Magnitude:

7.9

Apparent size:

2.32 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

127.04 (evening sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Neptune is closest to the Earth)

Previous:

Monday Aug 17, 2009 at 4:47pm

Next:

Friday Aug 20, 2010 at 5:59am


On 10/9/2009 at 7:53:31pm Neptune will be 28 above the southeast horizon

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Pluto (Dwarf Planet aka Asteroid 134340) data
 
Rises:

  1:15pm

Transits:

  6:14pm - Time of highest position in the sky, due South

Sets:

11:14pm

Constellation:

Sagittarius

Phase:

99.98% illuminated

Distance:

31.97862243 AU = 4,783,933,823 km = 2,972,598,700 miles = 4.44 light-hours

Magnitude:

14.2

Apparent size:

0.10 arcseconds in angular diameter

Elongation from Sun:

74.12 (evening sky)

Dates of Opposition (when Pluto is closest to the Earth)

Previous:

Tuesday Jun 23, 2009 at 3:49am

Next:

Friday Jun 25, 2010 at 2:59pm


On 10/9/2009 at 7:53:31pm Pluto will be 26.4 above the south-southwest horizon

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Inner Solar System - the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Earth
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
Notice that Venus is approaching superior conjunction on Jan 11, 2010

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Outer Solar System - the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto
(Created using Software Bisque's
TheSky software)
Notice that Saturn has passed conjunction and has now joined Mercury and Venus in the morning sky visible before sunrise.



(back to 'Quick Links')
 

Click HERE for event status (includes Clear Sky Chart).

Click HERE for a printer-friendly version of the information on this page.

Click HERE for general Information you should know about our events - Q&A of Where, When and What.

Click HERE for satellite passes during this event

Very sincerely yours,
Dave Jessie
"Time spent observing the heavens is not deducted from your life span"

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